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The original item was published from 12/22/2014 9:15:30 AM to 1/6/2015 12:05:00 AM.

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Butte-Silver Bow

Posted on: December 22, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Yellowstone opens to self-guided snowmobilers

A new era in travel by snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park is off to a feeble start this winter.

After being restricted to commercially guided trips only, snowmobilers can now ride into the park without a guide. There are restrictions, however. The number of these unguided riders is limited to up to four groups of five machines each day — one from each of the park’s four entrances.

A group from Utah had the privilege of being the first snowmobilers to enter the park under the new guidelines last Monday, according to Alicia Murphy, Yellowstone’s outdoor recreation planner. They rode in from the South Entrance near Jackson, Wyo.

It was easy for the group to claim that honor because, at the time, snowmobile travel was not being allowed at the park’s other entrances because of a lack of snow.

“There are quite a few bare spots, so we need quite a bit more snow to get a base and groom,” Murphy said.

Luckily, as the week progressed, more snow fell in the park and more roadways were opened to oversnow travel. The exception is the route from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful, although commercial operators were being allowed to trailer snowmobiles into Madison Junction and ride east, toward Norris, from there.

Read all about it in The Montana Standard.
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